ELS/Portland, located on the lovely Concordia University campus, is less than 30 minutes from downtown Portland. The fourth largest city on the West Coast, Portland is also the most affordable, with the lowest housing costs and no sales tax (Happy shopping!). Forbes magazine voted Portland the second "Safest City in the USA" and "America's Best Downtown." Students also enjoy fun activities at Mount Hood, the Oregon beaches and Seattle.
Homestays in the area(Homestay)
Host family students are responsible for their personal transportation. Most students use the convenient Max-Train or bus system.
Price per Session
Meals / week or Meal Credit
14 meals per week
Coates Hall(Student Residence (On Campus))
The apartment-style dorm is just across the street from the ELS offices. Each apartment has four single bedrooms, a shared kitchen, a bathroom and living space. Rooms include a bed, closet, desk, chair, high-speed Internet and cable TV connection. Linens and cleaning supplies are provided. Kitchens include refrigerator, stove/oven and cooking utensils. Self-service laundry machines are available for a small fee.
There is an on-campus resident assistant. Campus Security is present on campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Price per Session
Single - Apartment style dorms with private bedrooms.
Maximum age is 24.
Meals / week or Meal Credit
$180 meal plan is included.
What is Conditional Admission?
Institutions in the ELS University Conditional Admission Network offer conditional admission to students who are academically admissible based on the student’s academic record and other university and/or departmental and program requirements, but who have not yet demonstrated English proficiency. Your admission is “conditional” based upon satisfying English proficiency through completion of a specified level of the ELS English for Academic Purposes program and any other specific requirements prior to full admission. Once these requirements are fulfilled, you are able to fully matriculate. These requirements will be outlined on your Conditional Letter of Admission, and your selected ELS center will assist you in completing all of the necessary requirements for matriculation.
Additional matriculation requirements may include other required scores, for example, GMAT® or GRE® for graduate programs.
Our ELS University Partners will offer a Conditional Letter of Admission (CLA) detailing the additional requirements needed for matriculation. You and your family can be assured that you have a university placement and ELS registration prior to departing for the USA.
What is the Conditional Admission Process?
- Find a university via our University Finder
- Apply for university admission and enroll for English studies at ELS Language Centers with help from a local ELS authorized Counseling Agent.
- If you are an acceptable candidate for university admission, you receive a letter of "Conditional university admission subject to English proficiency and submission of any other required documentation for matriculation."
- Study at any of the 60 ELS Centers in the USA to fulfill the university entrance requirement for English proficiency.
- Begin your university program!
Meet the Staff
Ashlee was born and raised in Utah, where she attended university and graduated with a major in education. She worked for ELS in Southern California for 7 years as a and then transferred to Portland for a new experience. Portland is a great city for her because she loves, food, coffee, and spending time outdoors. Ashlee also enjoys traveling and learning new things. The highlight of her job is meeting so many new people and she looks forward to meeting you soon!
Greg has spent his entire career teaching English and has worked on four different continents. He has a B.A. in English and American Literature with Film Studies, and a Masters in English Literature. He is also currently working towards his M.A. in TESOL. In his free time, Greg likes to read books, watch movies, play soccer and basketball, and spend time relaxing at home with his wife and dog. Greg loves living in Portland because of all the wonderful people and beautiful green areas.
International Student Advisor
Brooke hails from the Midwest and holds a B.A. in Linguistics and German from Iowa State University. Having a passion for international education, she has spent time studying and working in Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Japan, Cambodia, South Korea, and on a cruise ship that circumnavigated the world. She enjoys hiking, yoga, volunteering, and trying out all the great restaurants Portland has to offer. Brooke’s most interesting experience abroad so far has been a visit to North Korea.
June 17, 2016
I did not know ELS would help me with my writing. I had a big
problem with organizing topics, thesis statements, introductions and conclusions. ELS helped me a lot. It was a real pleasure to study here. I found my needs here.
February 19, 2016
I had a rich experience in ELS- Concordia University. Before I went to my class on American Culture I didn’t have any idea about what would happen in this class. I was very surprised that the teacher found a great way to teach English to us; she decided that we will have a conversation with some students of Social Work studying at Concordia University. I was excited and pretty interested in this activity. My first meeting was with two kind and beautiful students. They asked me about my family, my life, my favorite activities and some questions about my experience in Portland. I was happy to answer all of their questions. It was amazing to me that we can have different beliefs and accept each other. For me it is always fascinating to meet people and to be exposed to diverse ways of thinking.
January 14, 2016
I love the people in the office at ELS they are helpful. I love Portland. ELS Portland has a lot of activities, pizza day is my favorite. All students get free pizza. I have met a lot of friends at ELS Portland. Everyday teacher Mina smiles, it helps you study.
After ELS I will go to a university, ELS has helped me improve my English.
-Saad Alshammari,Saudi Arabia
January 8, 2016
If you are considering to come to Portland or studying English in the U.S., this place will be very comfortable for you. If you are artistic, you can visit museum, see various monuments in downtown. If you are out-going, enjoy dancing in club and outdoor sports. If you believe you’re kind of introverted, don’t worry. Coffee shops, authentic restaurant and book stores will offer calm space such as your home.
December 17, 2015
I like Portland because it is not crowded with many people. People in Portland and at Concordia University are very friendly. My favorite thing to do in Portland is shopping because there is no sale tax. I also like the nature places such as Multnomah Falls and Vista House at Crown Point. If you want to practice your English and grammar Portland ELS is a good environment with good teachers. ELS has connections with other universities.
June 8, 2015
At ELS Portland the teachers are great and the office staff is so nice. Portland is a very good and peaceful location. It’s great for learning and there are really good chances to practice conversation. I love all of the activities!
March 11, 2015
Now I am a community college student. Before I came to community college, I felt really afraid that I would not be able to catch up with other classmates and wondered how hard the real college was going to be. It turned out that I got the highest level on my English placement test and easily adapted myself to programs. I found out that ELS provided me with entirely foundational English skills for colleges and universities; reading, writing, and particularly speaking. In addition, with the 112 certificate, it can guarantee my English proficiency to a lot of schools and replace the IELTS or TOEFL test score for ELS’s partner institutions. I would like to say thank you to ELS for helping me not only with my English but also all other kinds of issues.
The reason I decided not to go to a university is not at all because I was not confident in my English which ELS provided for me, but it
actually was the fact that community college can save far more money with the same subjects. Eventually, we can all transfer there, spend the other 2 years, and then get our degree.
February 3, 2015
My favorite thing about ELS in Portland, Oregon is that the teachers have very high teaching skills. And they are friendly and always help to develop my English skill. My favorite activity is visiting some special places, such as Mt. Hood and Canon Beach on the Pacific Ocean. Of course, I would recommend ELS in Portland,
Oregon because Portland is a really safe place and every people are kind to me. I could make many friends easily.
February 3, 2015
I decided to study at ELS in Portland, Oregon because I was told Portland is safe and the people are friendly. Thus, I came here,
and I found it was true! I like ELS school, and I recommend it! ELS/Portland offers fun activities, and the best activity that I enjoyed was a special trip to OMSI with my class. Thank you ELS to give me this chance. I also liked kayaking, paddling on the Columbia River, and going to Seattle. I would recommend ELS in Portland, Oregon to my friends in my home country because of the good behavior and manner from the teachers and the administration.
February 3, 2015
The reason I decide to come to ELS Portland is because somebody recommended it to me. The thing I like the most about ELS in Portland, Oregon is that the teachers teach well and with passion. All staff is so kind and friendly, and here are not too many Koreans. The biggest challenge that I face as an international student is using English and studying English as native speakers. To new international students, I would recommend try to speak and use English even if it is tough to you, try to meet and talk with Americans, and talk and hang out with international students without your using your language. I would recommend ELS in Portland, Oregon to my friends in my home country because Portland is good place to stay! It is not too hot or too cold. It has many delicious food and great landscape. Here is a very organic and natural city! My favorite thing about Portland is that it has no sales tax, friendly people, and the safety. My favorite place to go in the city is shopping at Woodburn outlet mall and going downtown to hang out with my friends. After I finish ELS in Portland, Oregon, I will go to College in Seattle and study business.
January 6, 2014
In 1976, I, myself, was a student at ELS in Oakland California, and since then, the English language has become an important part of my daily life, helping me a lot in my duties as a Doctor. That is why, when my kids, Carlos and Ana Grecia, were the right age to leave Mexico in order to learn English, I did not hesitate to send them to ELS, because I knew the quality and the prestige of your school. In 2010, during a vacation, we visited some ELS centers along the Pacific coast, and although we know that every ELS center is good, in Portland we felt the city very safe, the school very clean, well ordered and the staff very warm, helpful and kind.
My wife and I are happy to have let in your hands the English learning of our youngsters. You did a very good job because they both speak and write the language very well and is also helping them in their professional careers. Please receive our appreciation!
January 6, 2014
When I first arrived in homestay, my family gave me a very warm welcome. They showed me around their house and helped me to get my cell phone set up. It was the first time that we met, but I already felt welcome there. Some of my favorite things about homestay were that I could speak English every day. They helped me with my homework when I needed it, and also with my conversation and vocabulary. I learned a lot of things about table manners in America that I would not have learned from my friends. I would recommend for students to stay with a host family because you are coming here to learn English, and it’s a smart way to learn about American culture.
June 24, 2013
I chose to study at ELS Portland because here there are not many Brazilians, and it’s a good opportunity to practice my English. My favorite thing about ELS Portland is Concordia University’s campus. It is really beautiful and we can use all of the buildings. Also the staff and teachers are really nice. I like spending time at the cafeteria or the library because it’s easy to find my friends or a quiet place to study if I have to. My favorite thing to do in Portland is exploring the different restaurants and pubs in this city. They are very different from Brazil because there are many TV’s and the food sizes here are very big! I think the hardest part about being an international student is the very beginning, but after that it gets a lot better. My advice to new students is to make friends with other ELS students from different countries and try using your English with them. They will understand your mistakes! I would recommend ELS Portland to my friends in Brazil because Portland is a wonderful city, and all the people here in Portland are very friendly, even the people on the streets. I love visiting all of the different parks too. There are so many! After ELS, I will go back to my country and continue studying English before my MBA program begins. Who knows? Maybe I will even come back to ELS next year!
June 24, 2013
My agency also told me that this school has a good variety of students from other countries. My favorite thing about ELS Portland is the teachers and the staff. They are very kind and willing to help when we have questions. I love spending time at the Concordia library because there it is very quiet on the third floor, and you can focus on the things you are doing. My favorite activities in Portland are shopping downtown at the Saturday Market (outside shopping), and going to NBA basketball games. In Taiwan, I can only see these on TV, but it’s much more exciting to see them in person! I think the hardest part about being an International student is understanding what other International students are saying. We all pronounce words in different ways. My advice for new students is to feel free and open your mind when you are in a new country. You will learn more things than you expected to learn. I would recommend ELS Portland to new students because if you want to improve your English and study, you need to choose a place that is peaceful and quiet. I think for this reason Portland is better than other more crowded cities. After ELS, I plan to study at Concordia University in their MBA program. I like that ELS is on Concordia’s campus because I know I can always find my ELS teachers if I need them.
June 24, 2013
In my opinion, I think that Portland and ELS Portland are very unique. There are so many things in the area to explore. We have waterfalls and beaches and mountains that are all close by. There are also lots of museums and bands that come to Portland. I like that people are very friendly in this city; it’s very safe, and that everything gets recycled. I think that Portland has to be one of the greenest cities in the world. Concordia Campus is very clean and beautiful. It’s been very good for me because we don’t have a lot of Brazilian students, so I get to meet students from all over the world and practice my English with them. I would tell new students to come to Portland and live like the locals; it’s a really nice place to live!
June 18, 2013
I want to tell you about my experience coming to America: I chose ELS Portland because I was already accepted to Concordia University. I didn’t have to, but I thought it would be a good idea to come a little early to get used to the environment and make some new friends. This is exactly what I needed. I think the biggest challenge we face as international students is bridging the divide between what you imagine it will be like to live abroad and what it is really like. In Japan, I wrote my graduation thesis on American culture (25 pages long), but I can tell you that living and accepting something is totally different from learning about it in the classroom. That’s the beauty of study abroad. This forces you to grow, rapidly. The biggest challenge can be the biggest opportunity to grow. My advice to new International students is ‘try to accept that you are different from others, and that is totally fine.’ When you are studying abroad, it is easy to feel like the only criteria for being a smart person is if you can speak English fluently. It’s easy to get discouraged when you see another student who is better at English than you are, but don’t worry about that. Everybody has to start from zero. I would definitely recommend ELS Portland to my friends back home because this place has a safe and encouraging environment, and that is exactly what you need to overcome all of the above.
December 26, 2012
I chose ELS Portland because it reminded me of my home city of Kaohsiung, which also has a river running through it. My agent told me that Portland was very safe, and I have to admit that I like the tax-free shopping. One of my favorite parts of being at ELS Portland is my social work class. We get to go outside and it helps us to meet Americans. The dormitory here is also really good because it is clean and very big. We also have the chance to live with Americans. I love hanging out at the Concordia Library. It’s brand new, clean, quiet, and there are many books and materials we can take home. I love all the hiking - I joined the Outdoor club at Concordia and it has been a great way to meet Americans and get outside. One thing that has been difficult for me to adjust to is tipping when I eat at restaurants. I never know how much to tip! My advice to new students is to take advantage of every opportunity to speak English, especially with Americans. Opportunities won’t wait for you - you have to go after opportunities! I would definitely recommend ELS Portland to my friends back home because after travelling to other U.S. cities, Portland is like heaven! My favorite thing to do in Portland is to go shopping at the Lloyd Center Mall. It’s like everything is 10% off because it’s tax-free! I also love going to Powell’s book store downtown, the biggest book store of its kind in America. After I finish ELS, my goal is to study for an MBA in an American university and get an internship there. This will help me to get a good job once I’m back home.
December 26, 2012
I decided to study at ELS Portland because I knew there weren’t too many Brazilians here, and I could practice my English. I liked that ELS was a well known, large English language school, and my agency in Brazil advised me to come here. All of my experiences have been good, but I especially feel good about the staff, students, teachers, and my host family. Also, the methodology for learning English has been good. I like the structure of Concordia University, it’s much more accessible than in my home country of Brazil. It gives us many opportunities to enjoy the school and each other. The campus is very nice, and I feel good here. I like to hang out with my friends in downtown Portland, or on Alberta Street. I also really like going to NBA basketball games here. The Lakers game was my favorite experience so far! Other ELS Activities are great too: waterfalls, trips to Seattle, there are many interesting things to do here. I would say the biggest challenge an International student faces is communicating in the beginning. Still, it’s not so bad, nothing is traumatic. I think that’s because Brazilian and American cultures are similar. My advice to new students would be to enjoy your time here. Study hard to learn English because it’s not easy to learn another language, but here is the best place to learn it. My favorite thing about Portland is all of the nature. There are tree’s everywhere, and being around them always makes me feel good. The city has many interesting things to do for a city of its size. There is always something to do. After ELS my plan is to go back to my country and find a good job, but if I were younger, I would stay here longer.
December 26, 2012
I decided to study at ELS Portland because my agent suggested it. He said that Portland is not too cold, and that the staff there is very friendly. I also wanted the clean air quality and no sales tax. My favorite thing about ELS Portland has been the activities. More specifically I liked the trips that we took out of town, exploring other parts of the Northwest, such as activities like skiing and kayaking. After school I like hanging out at the Concordia Library to do homework with my friends. I also like spending time with my host family, even on simple outings like going to the grocery store. The biggest challenge I have faced as an International Student (and as a person) was jumping out of an airplane when I went skydiving! My advice to new students would be: “don’t be shy.” Every International student will be nervous when they go to another country, of course, but if you have a brave heart and talk to someone you will get the opportunity to talk more and start a friendship. Not to mention, it is best way to improve your English. I would recommend ELS Portland to my friends because the Portland people are really, really kind. My favorite thing to do in Portland is to hang out with my friends, and go downtown to some bars. After ELS, I will go back to my University in Japan, because I’m still a University student there.
December 26, 2012
I chose ELS because my Professor in Saudi Arabia had studied at ELS Portland, and he recommended ELS and Portland to me. At first, I was concerned about all the rain, but it’s actually not so bad. The staff and teachers are so helpful and friendly, and it’s easy to communicate with them. They are very easy to find and always happy to help. I like spending time at the library on campus. It’s easy to find my friends there, and I can use all of the media as a student. My favorite things to do in Portland are skiing at Mt. Hood (but I’m still learning), and going to “Sky High” where I can jump around on big trampolines and go crazy in the air! The hardest part about being an International student is learning how to make new friends while trying not to miss my old friends and family too much. My advice to new students is to stay busy. Keep a busy schedule so that you don’t have too much free time to miss your family. Go on activities and explore Portland. ELS staff is very helpful and will tell you where you can go. Portland has so many places to hang out! I don’t know about other states, but the people in Portland are so friendly. I especially love going to Blue Lake to have a bar-b-que, play soccer, and go swimming with friends. After ELS I plan to get my Masters degree and Ph.d in Electrical Engineering at a U.S. university.
December 26, 2012
I decided to come to ELS Portland to help myself adapt to my environment before I begin at Concordia University in the Spring. I chose Concordia because they have a good marketing program and I want to study for my MBA. My favorite place to hang out at Concordia is the library. It’s very clean and it’s a good place to relax and study. My favorite thing about ELS in Portland so far is the staff. They are all really nice, and we had a lot of fun during the ELS activities. I enjoy going to see the NBA Basketball games, and during the Summer I had fun on the Willamette Jet boats. They go really fast down the river! My favorite thing to do in Portland is to go hiking and sightseeing around the area and to explore all of the natural landscape. In the city, I love the Rose Garden Arena because I’m crazy about NBA Basketball games. The biggest challenge I’ve faced as an International Student is improving my English listening skills. Americans speak really fast and use a lot of slang, so it takes some time to get used to. My advice to new students would be to just cheer up, and keep going! I would recommend ELS Portland to anyone because it is a good place to study English.
December 26, 2012
I chose to come to ELS Portland because I heard that Oregon is the second safest state in the U.S., I was looking for a more of a country setting – quieter and calmer than my city back in Korea. My favorite thing about ELS in Portland is the facilities that I can use like the library and wi-fi on campus. The library is my favorite place to hang out at Concordia because I can meet Americans there. I also like the conversation partner program at ELS. Plus, the staff is very friendly. I think the biggest challenge I face as an international student is making American friends. I naturally want to avoid them because I am unsure of my speaking abilities and cultural differences, but I know that I have to overcome these fears in order to create and maintain relationships. That is the hardest part for me. My advice to new international students is to study your English hard before you get here. You might also want to pick up a hobby before coming. A hobby can be a good bridge to help you meet Americans. I would strongly recommend ELS Portland if you are somebody who doesn’t mind cloudy, rainy weather. Minus this one thing, people here are very friendly: staff, teachers and Portland citizens. The air is clean and the nature is nice, but to be honest, the weather does take some getting used to. My favorite things to do in Portland are to go shopping and to make new friends. I think it’s easier to make friends in Portland than in any other part of the U.S. that I’ve travelled so far. People here are so friendly. After I graduate ELS level 112, I want to go back to Korea and open my own business so I can share my experience here with others.
December 26, 2012
ELS Portland was recommended to me by my teacher in Turkey. When I looked up pictures of Portland it reminded me of Eskisehir, the city in Turkey where I already wanted to study. My favorite part of being in Portland is the ELS activities because they are a great way to meet Americans and make friends with other students. In Portland, I especially like going downtown to Powell’s bookstore and drinking coffee and reading books. he hardest part of being an International student was forcing myself to speak English in the first month, but now it is getting easier because I have many chances to practice my English. My advice to new students is to come here alone: you will speak more English and the people in Portland are actually very friendly and open-minded. I would definitely recommend ELS Portland to my friends back home because the teachers here are so friendly and thoughtful. I like going to Alberta Street because of all the different cultural restaurants and shops. After ELS, I want to start my Masters degree in GIS (Geographic Information Systems), so I can work for the Turkish Ministry of Forest and Water when I return to my country.
June 1, 2016
In Session 5 students had a big picnic at a park, exercised with ELS Running Club, and went to an MLS soccer game.
April 27, 2016
In Session 4 ELS students in Portland went to an NBA Blazers game, the Tulip Festival, a coffee tour, and whale watching!
March 23, 2016
In Session 3 students volunteered with Friends of Trees, went to the Oregon coast, went shopping at Woodburn Outlet Mall, and went to an NBA Blazers basketball game.
March 15, 2016
In Session 2, ELS students went to an NBA Blazers game, went on a Portland Walking Tour, and went Cosmic Tubing at Mt. Hood.
February 4, 2016
In Session 1 ELS students went to an NBA Blazers game, took a rock climbing class, and went shopping at a popular outlet mall.
February 4, 2016
In Session 13 ELS students went ice skating, skiing at Mt. Hood, to an NBA Blazers game, and decorated gingerbread houses!
January 21, 2016
In Session 12, ELS students went on a Hood River and waterfall tour, went to Seattle, had a Friendsgiving potluck, and went to an NBA Blazers game.
January 21, 2016
In Session 11, ELS students went bowling with Concordia University students, went on a dune buggy ride at the Oregon coast, and celebrated Halloween together!
November 24, 2015
Students at the Portland ELS Center made their country flags for International Education Week!
October 30, 2015
ELS Portland had a fun pumpkin carving Halloween party!
October 29, 2015
In Session 10 students hiked Beacon Rock in Columbia Gorge, went through a corn maze on Sauvie Island, and went to a Portland Timbers MLS soccer game!
September 30, 2015
In Session 9 students visited Fort Clatsop at the Oregon coast and did a bicycle tour of downtown Portland. Students also performed a Shakespeare play!